Alumni Spotlight: Amber George
February 28, 2022
School of Education Alumnus named Teacher of the Year
Amber George (WED '07; EAHE '21) is the Southeast Teacher of the Year. In addition to this regional honor, Amber is also one of 10 finalists for the statewide Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Join us in celebrating Amber's success in and outside of the classroom. Additionally, Amber offers some insights to others looking to become educators.
1. Degrees obtained from SIU and years you graduated:
I earned my B.S. in Workforce Education and Development with a concentration in Family and Consumer Sciences Secondary Education in May of 2007 and my M.S. in Educational Administration in May of 2021.
2. Current position:
I am currently in my 13th year of teaching Child Care at Herrin High School and in my 15th year of teaching overall. After obtaining my National Board Certification in December of 2020, I became the ROE 21 Cohort Facilitator for teachers seeking National Board Certification. Additionally, I am a building mentor for new teachers at Herrin High School through the IEA/ISBE Building Mentor program.
3. Identify a couple of ways that you continue to use your SIU preparation in your current role:
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale fully prepared me to enter the classroom directly out of college. I use both knowledge learned from the education courses and insight gained through field experiences daily in my classroom. Both provided me with a realistic look of what it takes to be a successful educator. The wisdom imparted from both my professors and cooperating teachers continues to guide me as I educate the leaders of tomorrow!
4. Things you believe that prospective teachers know when choosing the professions:
Teaching is the best profession in the world! The number of positives far outweigh the negatives. My best advice when choosing to become an educator is to discover your "why." Find the motivation behind your "why" and never lose sight of it. As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, education is ever-changing and new obstacles may present themselves. Knowing your "why" will help you stay focused on your goals, thus allowing you to continue growing in your craft and enhancing the quality of education your students receive.
5. Suggestions for students/teacher candidates while pursuing their degrees and preparing to enter the classroom:
The biggest piece of advice that I can give to those who are currently pursuing their degrees is to ask all of the questions you can and to soak up all of the knowledge shared with you. Your professors and cooperating teachers are full of wisdom from their own experiences in the world of education. They can provide you with priceless insights into many aspects of the world of education. Another piece of advice that was very helpful to me is to create a network of fellow students and future educators. You all will serve as a great support system for one another when navigating your way through your first years of teaching.
6. Add any other tips you feel they might need to hear:
I highly recommend taking full advantage of the Saluki experience while attending SIUC. Go to the events, join the clubs, and make the memories. You will look back on these years with a smile. The fond memories will stick with you forever! "Once a Saluki, Always a Saluki."